Business advocacy Coalition, BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy) has endorsed the California Air Resources Board’s, Advanced Clean Cars Program, which passed last week – citing benefits which they say will spark economic growth.
The program is in line with BICEP’s aim to work with policy makers, “to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation that will enable a rapid transition to a low-carbon, 21st century economy that will create new jobs and stimulate economic growth while stabilizing our planet’s fragile climate.”
The coalition includes some heavy hitters in the business world, including Nike, Starbucks, and Gap Inc. amongst other well known companies. BICEP was joined by California business organizations such as Patagonia, Applied Materials and the California Ski Industry Association in an advertising campaign promoting the strong standards.
The Advanced Clean Car Program sets out regulations that will affect new cars and light trucks sold between 2017 and 2025. When fully implemented in 2025, cars will emit 75 percent less smog-forming pollution than the average new car sold today, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 34 percent.
The San Jose Mercury News reported that the auto industry is on board with the program since it aligns with federal rules that will require a fleet average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. In addition, manufacturers already make, or are planning to launch vehicles that will be in compliance. The program will require auto makers offer for sale a specific number of clean vehicles including zero-emissions vehicles, and plug-in hybrids; together making up 15.4 percent of new car sales by 2025. The Mercury News states this will translate to 1.4 million such vehicles being sold in that year.
The California New Car Dealers Association however, opposed the Advanced Clean Cars Program, citing higher costs to consumers for such cars, and questioning whether there will be sufficient demand for them in order to reach the sales targets. The Air Resources Board however, estimates that the price premium to consumers will be $1,900 for these vehicles, which will be more than offset by $6,000 in fuel savings over the lifetime of a compliant car.
Anne Kelly, Director of BICEP stated, “California’s new Clean Cars Program will drive innovation and investment forward and create new opportunities for business. And that means economic growth and good new jobs for the people of California.”
Image credit: Adam Swank